Roosters fullback James Tedesco.

NRL Fantasy winners & losers: Round 25 & 2018

The NRL Fantasy season has been run and won, with Brett H's Junior Mints taking out the major prize of $10,000 plus a VIP trip for two to next year's State of Origin game in Perth. Congratulations to Brett, plus the four runners-up, the 16 club champions, and the head-to-head league champions out there.

I'll be back later this week with a wrap of what we learned this NRL Fantasy season, but first to the winners and losers of round 25 and the team of the season.

Winners

It was a very good week for the Sydney Roosters, who took full advantage of Melbourne's slip-up against the Panthers to clinch the minor premiership with a walloping of Parramatta on Saturday night. In the process they made NRL Fantasy history with two of their backline stars smashing out hundreds in the same game – with James Tedesco (106) just pipping Latrell Mitchell (105) to be the player of round 25.

Teammate Blake Ferguson capped an excellent individual year with 77, Bulldogs fullback Will Hopoate had a big game against Cronulla with 84, Knights halfback Mitchell Pearce made 83 in Newcastle's loss to the Dragons and John Sutton had a wow of a game for Souths against the Wests Tigers for 81.

Johnathan Thurston bowed out of the NRL with a game-high 69 points as the Cowboys fought back to beat the Titans while fellow half Anthony Milford made 77 for Brisbane, Dragons fullback Matt Dufty scored 70 and popular Fantasy big men Andrew Fifita and Josh Papalii both pumped out 72.

Meanwhile Valentine Holmes has joined the elite Fantasy WFBs, averaging a stunning 59.9 since Origin including nine tries in eight games, while Jarryd Hayne wrapped up his own strong end to the season with 63 in another Eels defeat.  

Losers

Cowboys star Jason Taumalolo proved to be a disastrous captaincy option in the final round of the season, making just 28, with Cameron Smith faring a little better with 40 in an under-strength Melbourne side.

Tom Tbrojevic left his worst to last with a season-low 18 in Manly's loss to Brisbane, with fellow superstar fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck making just 28 in the Warriors' win over Canberra.

After two big games in the starting Dragons pack Luciano Leilua was bumped back to the bench and scored 10, while the usually very reliable Esan Marsters made six missed tackles and no tackle breaks against the Bunnies for 14.

Fantasy Team of the Week

1 James Tedesco (106)
2 Blake Ferguson (77)
3 Latrell Mitchell (105)
4 Will Hopoate (84)
5 Matt Dufty (70)
6 Anthony Milford (77)
7 Mitchell Pearce (83)
8 Andrew Fifita (72)
9 Manase Fainu (63)
10 Josh Papalii (72)
11 John Sutton (81)
12 Shaun Lane (67)
13 Jake Trbojevic (66)
14 Johnathan Thurston (69)
15 Elijah Taylor (65)
16 Cody Walker (64)
17 Jarryd Hayne/Valentine Holmes (63)

Fantasy Team of the Season

Damien Cook finishes as the only player in 2018 with an average above 60 while the new squad system this season allows me to stack the team of the year with hookers.

1 James Tedesco (average score: 53.1)
2 Kalyn Ponga (52.4)
3 Latrell Mitchell (44.7)
4 Blake Ferguson (43.6)
5 Tom Tbrojevic (48.9)
6 Shaun Johnson (51.6)
7 Daly Cherry-Evans (55)
8 Andrew Fifita (57.7)
9 Damien Cook (c, 64.9)
10 Martin Taupau (56.9)
11 Jason Taumalolo (54.8)
12 Angus Crichton (54.6)
13 Jake Trbojevic (57.9)
14 Cameron Smith (59.6)
15 Cameron McInnes (55.9)
16 Robbie Farah (55.3)
17 Nathan Brown (53.7)